A quick and dirty guide to branding yourself
I always though that Tom Peter’s “Brand You” idea was a great thing to do especially if you want to get ahead in today’s ultra competitive work environment. I do know the power of a brand and know what it can do for you. Thus I like to encourage you to consider branding yourself as well things you touch and activities you are involved in.
Imagine creating a good looking resume that stands out? Imagine personal name cards so interesting that it the keeps you at the top of somebody’s memory tree? Imagine creating a personal website that gives a visitor in a blink of an eye an idea of everything you stand for?
In today’s blogging environment, a blog is often viewed as an extension of yourself and thus should be branded as well. Furthermore having an atrocious MySpace layout may be acceptable for a teenager, but it’s a big no no for a professional.
So what can branding do for you?
I’m not an expert in branding, but by branding you or your blog is about creating an image that can go further and permeate into more places than you can imagine. Think karma, think soft selling, and think of what comes to your mind when I say Coke, Apple, or IBM?
As you can see “branding” yourself can go a long way. So now what exactly is a brand?
A brand in our case, modified from Wikipedia:
“A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to you. A brand serves to create associations and expectations among products made by you. A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, which are developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.”
Right so how do we do it? One good and simple way is to create a personal saying, logo or symbol and market it. To do that you need to first create a personal Mantra. Like Guys Kawasaki’s “Corporate Mantra” from his book “The Art of the Start“, you need to come up with a sentence, in less than 10 words, to describe what you are or what you do.
For example at this Design Sojourn Blog our Mantra is “How to do good design and create clever products”. Now that this is clear the next step is what is that one keyword that describes everything you do? What is brand essence of yours? Ours is simply “guiding design”.
So now we need some way to communicate this. Well in most situations you could just use the Mantra or even your brand essence as your end point. But in our case, as we are about design, we have decided to turn it into a logo.
“Guiding Design” is also really about a process and a sojourn, a journey. The design process is not only chaotic but its also has a narrowing objective of finding the right solution for your set of problems.
Also we opted not to create a symbol but settled on using just a word. This is because in reality a process is intangible and we felt no symbol could represent it best but the word itself. Thus we used the text in a chaotic freehand font that is modified to taper into an “end point”.
The logo is not perfect and I’m still working on it, but I hope this post illustrates my thinking process and helps you know how to do it. This is really because all these authors of business books tend to talk too much about the “why” but very little about the “how”.
Good Luck on your branding adventure and please do leave me your thoughts!